Botond Feledy

What is your area of research? How long have you been working in this field? How long have you been lecturing at PPCU?
Theories of International Relations, foreign policy analysis, foreign policy journalism, for over ten years, and I have been teaching at PPCU for six years. 

When you were a university student yourself, did you ever study abroad? If you did, what courses did you take?

  • Sciences Po Bordeaux – MA in Government of International Organizations
  • Paris II Panthéon Assas - Diplome Universitaire in comparative French and EU law
  • FU Berlin, Otto Suhr Institute of International Politcal Economy
  • Aix-Marseille III, International Law and Institutions

How did you choose the country and the university, and how much information did you have about the courses and the lecturers before your visit?
I have always been looking for holistic interpretation of world politics. There are great schools of Western thought offering you such paradigms, meanwhile I also enjoyed submerging in different national realities of these countries.

Have you got any recent teaching experience at foreign universities and with the students of these universities?
I spent a semester as a guest lecturer at Sciences Po Paris – Campus de Dijon, focusing on Central European Studies. It was an outstanding place for merging students from different Central and Eastern European countries with Western students, which gave lots of space for discussion in our classes. The mix of teachers was also very international, from former MEPs to hardcore academics.

Your lectures here, at PPCU, are very popular with foreign students. To what reasons do you attribute this?
I usually focus on issues which are actually shaping the future of the students. If they do not fail to recognize this, then their interest is naturally born, which in turn drives us to great discussions and a high level of engagement. From cyberspace to social stability, EU consensus building or international taxation and climate change, at the end of the day these are all very central to our lives and societies. I enjoy explaining these connections and feedback loops.

How easy is it to find the way to your guest students, to reach them and to get on with them?
Usually guest students are very open and ready to engage, mostly the challenge is to bring the knowledge of the issue and the debate culture to a somewhat similar level in an international group, involving Hungarian students as well.

Are you able to make time for your foreign students out of the tight timeframes of the lectures?
I regularly offer extra curricular activities as international conferences in Budapest, workshops or simulation exercises in English. I am also available for mentoring to compose academic papers; or for a good informal discussion after the class.

Can you contribute to broadening your foreign students' horizon about Hungary and Hungarian culture?
Hungarian students are always present in my international groups or seminars. This is a great opportunity for them to show their style of reasoning and stock of Central European arguments, I am happy to facilitate such an intercultural exchange during my classes between the students.

What do you like about teaching foreign students?
Personally I like the unexpected: with students coming from all corners of Europe, necessarily I hear arguments and listen to opinions that I was not aware of previously. Dynamic international classes bring just simply great inputs for critical thinking.

Do you ever give your Hungarian students advice on where to spend their Erasmus scholarship? What aspects do you take into consideration when you do so?
It is high time that students are not only choosing countries, but specializations as well: certain methodologies are present in given faculties while missing at others, so students should be aware what kind of scientific experience they are looking for. I try to help them in this preliminary discovery of (sometimes hidden) differences between similarly good-looking schools.

Last but not least, when you have spare time, how do you usually spend it?
I play. Board games with friends, sports with colleagues, Lego with the kids, anything that can be gamified.